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3. the joy formidable  @ CentralThis week, tickets went on sale for the seventh edition of FOCUS Wales, the music, arts and interactive festival that takes place each spring in Wrexham, North Wales.

The previous event took place in May of this year and has been described by the organisers as being the most successful to date. A spokesman for FOCUS Wales said:

“This has been by far and away the most successful edition of the festival ever! We’re really looking forward to building on this year’s success and making 2017 even more special’.

The 2016 event saw in excess of 7000 people (almost a 50% increase compared to 2015 figures) descend on Wrexham for the four day music and arts extravaganza – which took in performances from over 200 music acts, including The Joy Formidable, The Magic Numbers, Welsh Music Prize winner Gwenno, The Sunshine Underground, Los Campesinos! As well as a huge selection of the finest new artists from the Welsh music scene and around the world. There were also keynote talks and panel discussions, featuring New Order and Joy Division founding member Peter Hook, punk icon Viv Albertine and representatives of music companies from around the world, including SXSW (USA), Festival No 6 (UK), Music Ontario (CAN) and lots more.

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Wrexham Business Professionals, Ramada Hotel. Wrexham. Pictured: Chair Gill Kreft with opening speach

Wrexham Business Professionals, Ramada Hotel. Wrexham. Pictured: Chair Gill Kreft with opening speach

Business experts predict the fairytale success of the Welsh football team at the Euros will generate a £25 million economic boost for the country.

They say the brilliant campaign when Chris Coleman’s side and the Welsh fans captured the world’s imagination will also help attract more companies to set up shop here.

That’s the view of business leaders including Gill Kreft, the Chair of Wrexham Business Professionals, and Jim Jones, the managing director of North Wales Tourism.

Gill Kreft said: “Chris Coleman’s squad have performed brilliantly and they have made the whole nation glow with pride.

“With Gareth Bale leading from the front, each and every one of them is a star and their place in the annals of Welsh history is assured.

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Llangollen International Eisteddfod Musical Director Eilir Owen Griffiths, appeals for dancers to enter the new competition.

Llangollen International Eisteddfod Musical Director Eilir Owen Griffiths, appeals for dancers to enter the new competition.

MUSIC composed by both the first and current Musical Directors of the iconic cultural festival will be performed at the 70thLlangollen International Musical Eisteddfod next month.

At the glittering Thursday evening concert opera legend Bryn Terfel will sing a Welsh piece penned by W.S Gwynne Williams, the Eisteddfod’s first Musical Director, after a rousing opening Fanfare by his latest successor, Eilir Owen Griffiths.

Eilir said: “Bryn Terfel will be singing the song Tosturi Duw as a tribute to my illustrious predecessor while I’ll be giving the world premiere of my own Fanfare which is also a celebration of this very special occasion.”

Music was a lifelong passion for William Sydney Gwynne Williams OBE who was born in Llangollen in 1896 and who was the great festival’s first Musical Director and held the post from 1947 to 1977 – the year before he died.


He had started composing as a teenager, established the Welsh Musicians Society in 1923 and began to be involved in the Welsh Folk Song Society in 1933.

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The next Wrexham Street Festival takes place on Saturday 25 June and offers something for everyone from 10 am to 5 pm at locations throughout Wrexham Town Centre.

Regent Street, Hope Street and Queen Street will have stalls offering a range of arts and crafts and artisan food.

Queen’s Square and Queen Street will host live entertainment including the choir of Ysgol Penrhyn, New Broughton; “Dancing Shoes” Community Dance School; Maelor School music students; Wrexham’s very own singer song writer Luke Gallagher; and children’s storyteller Jacqui Blore as well as a new sports zone where local clubs and sports providers will be providing demonstrations, free taster sessions* and offering information about their local classes.

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ImageUpload,62442,enA talented student is following in the footsteps of her lecturer as they are both nominated for prestigious comic-con awards in America.

Dan Berry, Wrexham Glyndwr University’s programme leader for Illustration, Graphic Novels and Children’s Publishing, has been nominated for an Eisner Award for his work as editor and contributor in the Best Anthology category for 24 by 7.

Dan’s student Max Sarin has also been nominated for an Eisner Award, for the Best Continuing Series category for her work on Giant Days.

Dan is a lecturer at Wrexham’s School of Creative Arts which was ranked top in Wales in The Guardian’s University Guide last month and 12th in the UK – a 31-place rise.

He said: “These awards are considered the “Oscars” of the comic world so it’s a great honour to be nominated.

“I’m delighted, surprised and incredibly proud that the work that both Max and I have produced has been chosen to be recognised in such a great way.

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